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Pages tagged "Minnesota Council of Nonprofits"


How I learned about power

main2.jpgFighting for a position to fight for people that need a better position is a real… well, fight. And, I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know all the questions to ask to move my organization’s mission forward. Or how best I can implement the ideas from the answers I come up with. I need others’ perspectives to understand what’s right, and to make sure what I am doing isn’t wrong. I need all the help I can get and I get the best tools for helping others from working with others. This is what I was hoping for when I applied for the YNPN-TC scholarship to the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits 2016 Nonprofit Essentials Conference, and this is what I experienced in spades.

As a fairly recent graduate and one of the newest additions to the local world of nonprofits, I am not wealthy. However, I do have a certain relationship to power that I didn’t have as a little kid in a working-poor family in South Minneapolis. Today, I have a role and an opportunity that I never imagined I’d have. I am an idealist at heart, but I understand the demand for practicality. I think this tension was masterfully named by the event’s keynote speaker, Dr. Vanjelis Ngwa in his deep exploration into the subtleties of power.

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Serendipity through stories

2016mcntech.jpgOn April 12, YNPN Twin Cities sent a dozen members to the MCN Nonprofit Technology and Communications Conference at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Minneapolis as part of our scholarship program. The week after the conference, we hosted a debriefing gathering for the conference cohort so they could further connect and share about what they learned at the conference.

One member of the cohort is Amy Tix, operations coordinator at Firefly Sisterhood. Below, Amy graciously shares her "a-ha moment" from the conference with takeaways from keynote speaker Perla Ni.

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How to get yourself a YNPN conference or workshop scholarship

main.jpgThe scholarships that YNPN offers are some of the best benefits we provide our members, and we want to make sure that our members are able to take advantage of these opportunities. Have you ever applied to a YNPN-TC scholarship for a Minnesota Council on Nonprofits (MCN) conference or a MAP for Nonprofits workshop? Have you been frustrated because you’ve applied multiple times and haven’t been awarded one? This blog is where you’ll get all the info you need (straight from the scholarship administrator) to understand our scholarship process and hopefully improve your chances of getting a scholarship the next time around. Here’s what you need to know:

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Equity and fakequity

main.jpgWhat does it take to actually bring about equity in the nonprofit sector and communities?

I think about this question a lot, particularly in the context of the nonprofit workforce and leadership. Minnesota tops the national lists as the most educated, literate and healthy. But, it also tops the lists indicating the highest educational, employment and health disparities in communities of color. Minnesota is great at everything, including disparities. Nonprofits play an important role in all of these areas of inequity in our communities, and Minnesota's nonprofit staff, leaders and boards are not reflective of the communities in which we work.

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How the nonprofit essentials conference could have changed your life

Why should you attend a conference related to work that you aren’t required to attend you might ask? Give me ten minutes and I’ll tell you!

I attended the Nonprofit Essentials conference hosted by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits back in August with a scholarship from YNPN and the experience proved to be invaluable to me.

You never know who you’re going to meet anywhere in life, but especially at an MCN conference. I connected with so many people who showed up in other parts of my life but I never really got to know before. Case in point: I spent a good chunk of the day with one of my coworkers, from a different department, who I’d never really talked to before. Our discussions about the two conferences we attended together really got me thinking about my day-to-day work, what I truly enjoy, and how I can partner with her department more to not only be more effective but also have more fun at work!

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The Next Step, and the One After

main.jpgPressed shoulder to shoulder in a conference room, folders and chairs scuttled to the middle of the circle, we were asked a deceptively simple question; “What are you personally, and professionally, interested in?”  Starting with the first brave soul who was (and presumably still is) interested in sustainable transportation, they were handed the end of a spool of yarn. The follow-up, “Alright, who else is interested in sustainable transportation?” was met with a smattering of raised hands. The yarn made its way to a second person, and then a third. Church planting, podcasting, travel in New Zealand, mining in central Minnesota. A yarn web (a yeb?) was forming, giving real-time credence to the statement: There is no substitute for being in a room full people all saying “I need something.”

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Re-hashing #nplead2015

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Leadership 2025 conference was my third attempt at live-tweeting an event. This means I have only sent 95 tweets out into the world (does that disqualify me as a millennial?). I’m often still confused on this particular social media platform and sometimes unsure if I’m doing “The Twitter” right. Thus, one of the big conference highlights for me was when The Theater of Public Policy used one of my tweets in a short sketch during their lunch performance.

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Innovations in Volunteer Management: The Core Four

Excited VolunteersVolunteer management isn’t often an area many of us have formalized training in; yet it is an integral part of any nonprofit program. As young nonprofit professionals, many of us find ourselves involved in volunteer management in some capacity or another, and as it is one of the best places for an organization to innovate, it may be worth a deeper look. 

At the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Annual Conference, Mary Quirk, executive director of Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration, and Zeeda Magnuson, associate director of HandsOn Twin Cities, outlined some of the most notable changes in what volunteers are looking for, including shorter term commitments, building and utilizing work place skills, flexible hours, and group volunteering opportunities.

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Vision Board...of Directors

Vision boards. 50-year-old moms spend days, WEEKS, piecing together giant collages of images and quotes soon after they experience their (probably first of many) mid-life crisis. When you notice her heading “off to cake decorating class” or investing in a $6,000 road bike, or dying a half-inch strand of hair orange, she has probably made a vision board. Mom captures her life’s purpose in magazine clippings on a bulletin board (which she stole from your brother’s room) and feels the motivation bubbling as she passes by its home on the kitchen wall. Maybe she’ll go sky-diving today. Thanks, Oprah.

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Pictures, infographics, social media: Nonprofit Technology and Communications Conference recap

main.jpgIt’s only been a few short weeks after the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits’ 2014 Nonprofit Technology and Communications Conference, and I have already begun to put some ideas into action.

I’m the Volunteer Center Program Manager for Community Thread, a small nonprofit located in Stillwater. With a staff of 11, we do not have one person that is solely in charge of communications or technology. Rather, it is up to many staff, including myself.  I was thrilled to attend this conference, as I wanted to learn more about engaging the public through technology and communications. A few takeaways remain in my mind:

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